Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was at the centre of all the drama on Deadline Day this week.
Having been stripped of the Arsenal captaincy and effectively exiled by Mikel Arteta, it seemed inevitable that the Gabon international would seek pasture news in the January transfer window.
But as we all know, things are never that simple in football and what followed was a topsy-turvy 24 hours where a potential Barcelona move flitted between being on and off every 10 seconds.
Aubameyang to Barcelona saga
In fact, at one point, reports were even suggesting that Aubameyang’s switch to the Camp Nou had completely fallen through and that his flight to Spain was merely a family holiday.
However, before the witty comparisons between Peter Odemwingie pulling up at Queens Park Rangers gathered too much momentum, Aubameyang’s Arsenal escape looked to be back on.
And just a few minutes after the official deadline, Fabrizio Romano tweeted to confirm that the 32-year-old’s link-up with the Blaugrana had been given his ‘here we go’ seal of approval.
Morgan reacts to Aubameyang developments
All in all, it made for a hectic day where Aubameyang’s name was rallied, rebounded and ricocheted across every limb of the media until a Barcelona move looked to be confirmed beyond dispute.
And throughout all the undulations of the Aubameyang saga on Monday, few people were more vocal than Arsenal fan and television presenter Piers Morgan who was very persistent on Twitter.
The ever-opinionated Morgan wasn’t afraid to make his stance clear about Arsenal’s most recent Premier League Golden Boot winner leaving the club even when it looked like he might stay.
Morgan rages at Arsenal and Arteta
In fact, Morgan’s Twitter activity across the day made for a consistent and sustained criticism of both Arsenal and Arteta’s handling of the situation, which naturally caused a stir amongst fans.
The former Good Morning Britain presenter first bemoaned: “Arteta continues to treat our best player like dirt, with no sign of any replacement coming in. Terrible management.”
And followed that up by writing: “If I was Arsenal manager, I’d keep this world class striker, play him down the middle flanked by Martinelli and Saka, make him feel loved again, and save our season.
“Right now, Arteta’s petty stubborn ego is going to cost us Top4. @Auba #afc #KeepAubameyang.”
When challenged by a fan about calling Aubameyang ‘world-class’, the 56-year-old retorted: “Messi this season: 17 games, 6 goals. Aubameyang this season: 15 games, 7 goals.”
Finally, Morgan snapped by tweeting: “This is a terrible transfer window for Arsenal. One goal in the whole of January and we sell our best striker for NOTHING with no replacement. Madness.”
Where do Arsenal go now?
Now, Morgan is just about as divisive as people come in the British media, but regardless of whether you agree with him on this debate or not, there’s certainly substance to his frustrations.
Arteta hasn’t cut Aubameyang out of the team for no reason, but even those who want him kicked out of the club can’t be dancing with joy in the knowledge that they’ve not signed a replacement.
It’s undoubtedly a complex situation and one that Arsenal are going to have to sit with for the remainder of the season. Only time will tell whether it’s Morgan or Arteta who got things right.